Indianz.Com > News > Rep. Tom Cole: Moving forward from 2020
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), speaks about the recent “Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans” report at a Congressional panel in Washington, D.C., on June 5, 2019. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
A Realistic Path Forward
Thursday, October 22, 2020

Looking back on the unprecedented events, hardships, challenges and losses we’ve navigated this year, certainly everyone would agree that 2020 has been a roller coaster experience none of us asked for or wanted. While it will take time to recover and find our way back to normal, I want to encourage you to remember that there is always reason to have hope in what the future can hold in America.

During most of this year, people all over the world have been battling a ruthless invisible enemy. Indeed, no country has been spared from the wrath of the coronavirus pandemic. The damage has been felt far and wide, viciously claiming precious lives and destroying livelihoods without remorse. While navigating this global health emergency, there has also been a great deal of social unrest across the United States. Sadly, the unfortunate turn of events, during a contentious presidential election year, has only deepened existing divisions and heightened political polarization in our country.

While it’s easy to feel discouraged during this difficult season and a news cycle that seems to constantly deliver bad news, remember that this is a temporary season. History tells us time and again that Americans possess remarkable inner strength and determination. And we always come together to demonstrate our collective strength and unshakable resilience, even in the direst of circumstances and crises.

As we strive to put these dark days behind us and move closer toward normalcy, I am very proud of the optimistic vision recently put forward by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. In our Commitment to America unveiled last month, we outlined numerous commonsense policies that will restore the American way of life, rebuild our great economy and renew the American Dream.

Of course, we cannot get back to life as usual until we defeat the coronavirus. Fortunately, the United States is rapidly advancing, ahead of the rest of the world, toward a safe and effective vaccine. At the same time, we are making great strides in the realm of treatments and therapeutics. This is thanks to Operation Warp Speed, which was initiated in mid-May by the Trump Administration. While a vaccine won’t fix anything overnight, it will begin to ease the needless pain inflicted on our country, save precious lives and set us on firm ground to rebuild our thriving economy from the not-so-distant past.

Before the pandemic struck the world earlier this year, America’s economy was booming, and communities were thriving nationwide. In fact, unemployment was the lowest it’s been in half a century. Once we eliminate the virus, we can get there again with pro-growth and pro-business policies.

In the meantime, it is in the best interest of all Americans for Congress and the Trump Administration to deliver additional relief for those struggling by no fault of their own. Indeed, one of the best ways we can recover and rebuild our economy is by helping sustain our job creators and their dedicated workforces. Although lawmakers and the president were able to provide four bipartisan relief packages earlier this year, I regret that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly stalled efforts to provide additional aid, including refusing to bring up a simple extension of the highly successful Paycheck Protection Program.

While there’s still a long way to go in order to rebuild our economy after the hard and fast hits inflicted by the coronavirus, there are encouraging signs that recovery is underway. For the last five consecutive months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported job growth, showing that more Americans are returning to work. In fact, BLS most recently reported that more than 661,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in September and that the national unemployment rate yet again declined from the prior month – this time to 7.9 percent.

Remember, America is the land of opportunity, where you can choose or change your own destiny with a great idea, hard work and determination. It is that promise of the American Dream that inspires and draws people in from all over the world. Certainly, both Republicans and Democrats can agree that there are always ways to make our country a better place for all. However, that is not achieved by defunding law enforcement, destroying our economy and dismantling our way of life.

Although nothing will be fixed overnight, I am proud that our Commitment to America provides a realistic path forward for our country. Learn more at

Tom Cole, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, is serving his eighth term in Congress as the elected representative of Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District. He is recognized as an advocate for taxpayers and small business, a proponent for a strong national defense and a leader in promoting biomedical research. He is considered the foremost expert in the House on issues dealing with Native Americans and tribal governments. He and his wife, Ellen, have one son, Mason, and reside in Moore, Oklahoma.